Archive for December 6th, 2022

Whose Planet?

Jupiter via James Webb Telescope

Jupiter – James Webb Telescope

As soon as somebody demonstrates the art of flying, settlers from our species of man will not be lacking on the moon and Jupiter… Given ships or sails adapted to the breezes of heaven, there will be those who will not shrink from even that vast expanse.

Johannes Kepler, Kepler’s Conversation with Galileo’s Sidereal messenger, 1610

The image above of the planet Jupiter was produced by the NASA‘s powerful James Webb Space Telescope earlier this year. I am not a space junkie and have no interest in being blasted into the vast expanses of space to attempt to settle on a planet with an environment that is totally hostile in all ways to our existence– the environment on our home planet is hostile enough, thank you!— but I could stare at this image for hours.

To me, it feels like someone took the totality of all Van Gogh’s paintings, beliefs, thoughts, and unfulfilled artistic desires and created a visual representation of those things as whole.

It is big and bold and both inner-worldly and other-worldly. Magnificent.

As an artist, it is an image that is both inspiring and humbling. It creates a far-flung goal that covers such an imposing range of new inspirations and aspirations that you know you will never reach it. 

And that’s probably how many would-be space explorers feel looking at this same image. It offers so much new to see, to examine and experience yet they know they will never reach that planet or anywhere like it in their lifetimes.

Yet that knowledge doesn’t stop either space explorer or artist from attempting the journey. 

Thinking of this image as a representation of Van Gogh and his work in totality also makes me wonder what our own planets might look like. Would it have anything approaching the beauty and power of Jupiter’s surface? Or the relative tranquility of Earth’s? Would it be comprised of rich blues and greens in spirals and clouds? Or would it be reds and purples in slashing storm fronts? 

I don’t know that I can say how my own planet might appear. Hopefully, it would be inviting, would feel like some form of home. But who knows? It is still being developed, still taking shape. 

In the meantime, Jupiter can stand in as an adequate substitute until mine is fully formed.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: